ABBA Biography | Music brought them together, heartbreak tore them apart
There are bands that mark an era and others like ABBA that become eternal. Their music was branded as simple, but they are not only the best-selling band of the 70s, but their musicals fill theatres all over the world today, delighting children and adults alike. Discover the complete story of ABBA, the Swedish quartet that redefined the word “hit”.
ABBA Trembol Card
- 🗿 Name: ABBA (It corresponds to the initials of the members of the group: Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid).
- 🎂 Year:ABBA was founded in 1972 and stopped performing together in 1982, returning in 2021 with a new album.
- 👫 Genres: Pop, Dance and Disco music mainly.
- ♈ Logo:
- ✍🏼 Autograph:
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏼 Members: Agnetha Fältskog (vocals), Björn Ulvaeus (vocals and guitar), Benny Andersson (vocals and piano) y Anni-Frid «Frida» Lyngstad (vocals).
- 💿 Discography: As ABBA they have released 9 studio albums: Ring Ring (1973), Waterloo (1974), ABBA (1975), Arrival (1976), The Album (1977), Voulez-Vous (1979), Super Trouper (1980), The Visitors (1981), Voyage (2021).
- 🌐 ABBA Official Website: abbasite.com
- 🗣 ABBA Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and Instagram.
It’s so humbling, and I’m grateful, but I cannot say I understand quite how that happened. It’s kind of a miracle, never in our wildest dreams did we think that these songs that we wrote would last for such a long time.
Benny Andersson (ABBA)
Other music stories you will love
Coldplay. The complete story
Roxette. Per & Marie Biography
Garth Brooks. The king of Country
ABBA | Biography & Music
ABBA is Sweden’s biggest pop group and the first European band to become international stars (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and to a lesser extent the United States). It consists of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad. The quartet was formed in Stockholm in 1972 and achieved international fame when they won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo, making them the best-selling band of the 1970s.
- Their catchy music, female vocals and the effect created by Phil Spector called ‘Wall of sound’, are their hallmarks.
Björn and Agnetha married in 1971, while Benny and Frida married in 1978. Both marriages would break up and although they continued with ABBA, there was a commercial decline that led to their break-up in 1982.
In the 1990s, their popularity was revived thanks to several compilation albums and the film and musical ‘Mamma Mia!’. In 2021 the quartet would return with a new album, ‘Voyage’, performing a virtual concert tour.
Chapter 1 | Before ABBA
Göran Bror Benny Andersson, the pianist and principal composer of ABBA’s music, was born in Sweden on 16 December 1946. Benny started playing accordion in the family at the age of 6, switching to piano at 10. He left school at 15, and began performing in youth clubs where he met his first wife, fellow musician Christina Grönvall, mother of his first two children, Peter and Heléne. In early 1964, Benny and Christina joined the group ‘Elverkets Spelmanslag (The Electricity Board Folk Music Group)‘. At the age of 18, he would join the band ‘The Hep Stars‘, known as the “Swedish Beatles”, because of their great popularity in Sweden and their constant hits, written by Benny such as: No Response, Sunny Girl, Wedding, Consolation, It’s Nice To Be Back, She Will Love You or Cadillac.
Björn Kristian Ulvæus, ABBA guitarist, was born on 25 April 1945 in Sweden.
He started playing guitar in a Swedish traditional music group. At the age of 17, Björn formed a jazz band with which he entered a radio talent contest.
- This brought him to the attention of ABBA’s future manager and owner of the Polar Music label, Stig “Stikkan” Anderson, who took Björn and his band under his wing and renamed them ‘The Hootenanny Singers‘, becoming an extremely successful group.
The Hep Stars Cadillac
The Hootenanny Singers Gabrielle
Anni-Frid Synni Lyngstad, known to all as Frida or the brunette ABBA girl, was born in Norway on 15 November 1945, only five months after the end of World War II.
- The daughter of a young Norwegian girl and a married German sergeant, who she always thought was dead, but who turned out not to be. Frida met him when she grew up on a date arranged by her then fiancé and ABBA member, Benny Andersson.
- Her mother died when she was 2 years old.
- Frida escaped to Sweden with her grandmother, who raised her, because in Norway the children of Germans were persecuted after the war.
She soon stood out at school for her voice, singing every Friday in front of the class, joining at the age of 13 as a vocalist, first in the jazz band, Evald Ek Orkesta, and later in the ‘Bengt Sandlunds Bigband‘ and ‘Gunnar Sandervarn Trio‘, until she formed her own band, ‘The Anni-Frid Four‘.
- In this group she met her first husband, Ragnar Fredriksson, with whom she would have two children, Hans and Lise-Lotte. They divorced in 1970.
Agnetha Åse Fältskog, known as the ABBA’s blonde singer, was born in Sweden on 5 April 1950.
She grew up in a musical family, composing her first song at the age of five, ‘Två små troll (Two Little Trolls)‘.
- At 16 she began her career as an artist, and in 1967, at the age of 17, she topped the Swedish charts with her own song, ‘Jag var så kär (I was so in love)’.
Most of her hits were her own compositions, which was quite unusual for a female singer in the 1960s. Agnetha released five solo albums between 1967 and 1975 with many hit singles in the Swedish charts.
Anni-Frid Lyngstad En ledig dag (Weekend in Portofino)
Agnetha Jag var så kär (I was so in love)
Chapter 2 | How did ABBA come about?
Between 1966 and 1969 a series of coincidences made the future members of ABBA meet and fall in love ❤️
- In 1966, while Björn was on tour with his band ‘The Hootenanny Singers’, they met the most popular rock band in Sweden at that time, ‘The Hep Stars’. Benny Andersson was playing there. Benny and Björn started to collaborate regularly and their first song together was ‘Isn’t it easy to say’, recorded by The Hep Stars.
- In 1967 Frida appeared on Swedish television causing a sensation and signing a contract with EMI. A year later, in 1968, she would perform again on national television with Agnetha.
- In 1968, Björn heard Agnetha’s single ‘Jag var så kär’ and was smitten by her voice. A year later, in 1969, they met at a concert.
Björn and Agnetha became a couple, marrying in 1971 in a ceremony that the Swedish press called the wedding of the year. Together they would have two children: Linda and Christian, to whom they dedicated ‘Slipping Through My Fingers‘.
In 1969 Frida entered the Swedish Eurovision Song Contest where she would meet her second husband and ABBA member, Benny Andersson.
- He would produce her 1971 debut album, ‘Frida’ with her first number one, the single ‘Min egen stad (My own city)‘, written by Benny and featuring backing vocals from all the future members of ABBA, a common occurrence as the couples supported each other in their respective musical recordings constantly.
Frida was initially hesitant about performing with her partner Benny, Björn and Agnetha, but in 1970, when the four were on holiday in Cyprus, what started as a fun performance on the beach ended up as an impromptu performance in front of the UN Blue Helmets, the first performance of the future members of ABBA.
The Hep Stars and The Hotennany Singers had disintegrated in the late 1960s, so Benny and Björn began recording their first album as a duo, called ‘Lycka (Happiness)‘. Frida and Agnetha collaborated on backing vocals on songs such as ‘Det kan ingen doktor hjälpa (No doctor can help it)‘ and ‘Tänk om jorden vore ung (What if the Earth were young?)‘.
Anni-Frid Lyngstad Min egen stad (My own city)
Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson Tänk om jorden vore ung (What if the earth were young?)
Their first project together began in November 1970. It was a cabaret show called ‘Festfolket (Shared Party)’, which was not very successful making them concentrate on their individual projects again.
Agnetha released her fourth studio album, ‘När en vacker tanke blir en sång‘.
That same 1971 Frida went on tour while the other three future members of ABBA started performing together on a regular basis.
- When she returned with them, Björn and Benny found that the sound of Agnetha and Frida’s voices were a perfect match.
- At the time there were other musical groups such as Blue Mink, Middle of the Road and Sweet, which would serve as inspiration for ABBA 🧔🏼👩🏼🦰👱🏼♀️👱🏼
Although it seemed that the quartet would never happen, a pleasant surprise would change it all.
- It was March 1972 when Björn & Benny’s single ‘She’s My Kind of Girl‘ became popular in Japan, which encouraged their manager, Stig, to release a song by the four of them called ‘People Need Love‘, in which Frida and Agnetha’s voices became more prominent.
- As they didn’t have a name yet, they only put their names together ‘Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid‘ on the cover, although the American version of the single, released by Playboy Records, called them ‘Björn & Benny (with Svenska Flicka)‘.
- It was a moderate success, but enough to suggest that something good was to come.
In April 1972, the four of them appeared on television for the first time 📺
Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson She’s My Kind of Girl
Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid People Need Love
Although forming a band was not a priority for either of them, they decided to record an album.
- They started with two singles, ‘Nina, Pretty Ballerina’, where Agnetha and Frida’s harmony vocals were especially outstanding, and ‘He Is Your Brother‘.
When they were going out on promotion in Europe in 1973, Agnetha and Björn’s first daughter, Linda, was born, so she was replaced by a friend called Inger Brundin in the promotion.
Although they continued with the album, they also continued with their individual careers. In 1972 Agnetha played Mary Magdalene in the Swedish version of the hit musical Jesuchrist Superstar.
At that time, they decided together with their representative Stig to submit a song to Sweden’s pre-Eurovision festival, the Melodifestivalen. ‘Ring Ring‘ would be the first song in which the band would use their classic “Wall of Sound”.
- Although the song did not win, it would become the name of their first album, ‘Ring Ring’.
What is the ‘Wall of Sound’?
Wall of Sound is a music production technique that consisted of recording the melody on a master tape, then creating several copies of that tape and playing them back milliseconds apart, thus doubling the number of elements heard on a track and achieving a louder and clearer sound.
In the early days of ABBA, Björn composed the music together with Benny and both wrote the lyrics. Towards the end of the band, it was Benny who composed the music, focusig Björn in the lyrics, as well as being the one facing media.
- Björn was called “the smart guy” of the group because he liked cameras and also spoke English, German and Spanish.
- Frida was mainly involved in the lyrics, like in ‘I Have a Dream’ or ‘Knowing me, knowing you’.
- Agnetha wrote only one song for ABBA’s studio albums, ‘Disillusion’, with lyrics by Björn, which appeared on the group’s debut album, Ring Ring.
In the summer of 1973, ABBA began a long tour of more than 70 outdoor concerts. After the tour they would begin work on their second album.
What is the origin of ABBA’s name?
In the spring of 1973, tired of difficult names, the group’s manager, Stig, began to refer to the group in public as ABBA, an acronym formed from the first letters of the members’ names: Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid.
It was not taken seriously at first, as “ABBA” was the name of a well-known seafood company in Sweden, but Stig believed it would work very well in the international market.
Nevertheless, a Gothenburg newspaper announced a competition to find a suitable name for the band. The group was given names like “Baba” and “Friend and Neighbours”, but in the end they were all rejected and in the summer they announced that the official name was ABBA.
Stig would come to a financial agreement with the seafood company to be able to use the name 🦐
At that time they thought that the best way to promote themselves internationally would be the Eurovision Song Contest. They had been working for some time on a new composition inspired by the growing British glam rock, which they called ‘Waterloo‘.
- With ‘Waterloo’ they would win the Swedish Melodifestivalen in 1974 with the highest score to date.
Just before Eurovision, ABBA would release their second album called ‘Waterloo‘ too. It contained great singles such as: Honey, Honey and Until Tomorrow.
Where does the ABBA logo come from?
The first “B” in ABBA’s logo was turned upside down in a promotional campaign for the band in 1976, and later became their official logo and trademark. The design of the logo, as well as almost all of ABBA’s album covers, is by Rune Söderqvist, although the idea to reverse the B came from German photographer Wolfgang “Bubi” Heilemann at a photo shoot.
ABBA would go on to win Eurovision with Waterloo. They wore some very flashy outfits that broke all the stereotypes of the festival.
- ABBA were known for their extravagant and often glitzy outfits with platform boots 👢 and colourful overalls.
- They cared so much about their outfits that before every performance, they would check their costumes to make sure everything was in place.
The Eurovision victory gave them the opportunity to perform all over Europe, placing ‘Waterloo’ at number one on the continent. In the United States it would reach number six.
Soon rumours began to spread that ABBA was going to be a typical one-hit wonder group. To refute this, ABBA went into the studio again to create ‘So Long‘. The song was ok but it was a flop and was considered ABBA’s least successful single internationally 😭
In 1974 ABBA began their first world tour, but due to low demand they were forced to cancel several dates. The quartet did not give up and were back on the road in early 1975, this time with 7 sold-out dates, ending with a big concert in Sweden.
In 1975, Frida would release a new album in Swedish ‘Frida Ensam (Frida Alone)’, topping the Swedish album charts with the original Swedish version of ‘Fernando’, a song that ABBA would later release in English.
- During her career Frida would release 17 albums, the last one in 2004, although she would return in 2012 with ‘A‘.
ABBA So Long
ABBA’s third studio album was released in 1975 with the wonderful single ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’.
It was followed by another hit, ‘SOS’, again achieving success in Europe, being one of the most played songs on US radio that year and getting its first number one in Mexico.
- In the recording of ‘SOS’, the characteristic siren sound at the beginning of the song was created by Benny Andersson using an old Swedish military signal horn, which gives the song its famous opening.
All four continued to be involved in projects outside the band: Björn and Benny continued to compose and produce songs for other artists. Agnetha released her fifth album, ‘Elva Kvinnor I Ett Hus‘, with the Swedish version of ‘SOS’, while Frida would continue to promote her album ‘Frida ensam‘.
ABBA Mamma Mia
The album included the most legendary single of ABBA’s career, ‘Mamma Mia‘, which would give its name to their musical and film.
What ABBA didn’t expect was that their success would reach Australia, but it did, releasing a compilation of their first albums there under the title ‘The Best Of ABBA’, which became an instant number one with more than 1 million copies sold.
- The European version of the compilation, entitled ‘Greatest Hits’, would be the second best-selling album in the UK in the 1970s, also giving the group its first gold record in the US.
The compilation included ‘Fernando‘, ABBA’s record-breaking song 🥇. Fernando went to number one in thirteen countries, including Australia where it stayed for 14 weeks, beating The Beatles’ record of 13 with ‘Hey Jude’. Fernando’ sold over 4.5 million copies becoming the group’s second biggest selling single and still one of the biggest selling singles of all time in Australia.
In 1976, ABBA released their 4th album, ‘Arrival‘. It had higher level of production and composition than its predecessors.
In general, the four members of ABBA always agreed that their compositions were simple, focused on love and with catchy pop melodies.
- One of the main reasons for this was language. While they were all fluent in English, they did not have the same grammatical and lexical command as they did with their mother tongue, Swedish, and this was reflected in their English lyrics.
The first single, ‘Dancing Queen‘ 👸🏼 became an instant hit, becoming ABBA’s signature song, as well as being named one of the best songs ever by Rolling Stone magazine.
- Dancing Queen has sold over 9 million copies, making it the most successful of ABBA’s entire career and their only number 1 on the US Billboard chart.
- Dancing Queen’ was inspired by George McCrae’s ‘Rock Your Baby’, whose bass line is virtually identical.
- Its original title was ‘Boogaloo’ because the idea was to reproduce the disco and boogie music so popular in the mid-1970s. The title change was made to better reflect the theme of the song, which is about a young girl enjoying a night of partying and dancing.
The album, ‘Arrival‘, was not just about ‘Dancing Queen‘, songs like ‘Money, Money, Money’ and ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ were also well received.
By 1977, ABBA was already a world-famous group 🌍, touring Europe and Australia, with a big show that included a mini-musical called ‘The Girl with the Golden Hair‘.
- The demand for tickets was brutal, so much so that, for example in the UK, they received 3.5 million requests. They could have filled the Royal Albert Hall 400 times.
During the tour they would play in Sydney in front of 20,000 people who endured hours in the rain. ABBA remembers it as one of the best concerts of their career. It wasn’t all joy though, during one of their concerts in Perth, there was a false bomb threat and the venue had to be evacuated.
- To commemorate the tour, they filmed a documentary called ‘ABBA: The Movie‘, with scenes of the quartet in concert and backstage.
Back in Sweden, Benny and Björn began writing songs for what was to be ABBA’s 5th record, ‘The Album‘. In between Agnetha and Björn had their second child, Christian.
‘The Album‘ was mature lyrically and musically. It was introduced with ‘The Name of the Game‘, followed by fan favourite ‘Take A Chance On Me‘, and the third single, ‘Eagle’, their longest song.
- The album also included ‘Thank you for the music‘ from her previous tour musical ‘The Girl with the Golden Hair‘.
Thanks to the success, their record label, Polar Music, built the most advanced recording studio of the time in Stockholm 🎙️
- Despite the new premises, ABBA went through a creative crisis, taking more than a year to write the next album.
Their next single, ‘Summer Night City‘, introduced the group to disco music, although it was nothing compared to ‘Chiquitita (Little thing)‘, a song performed at the 1979 Music for Unicef concert. The single became a number one hit in ten countries.
- As crazy as it sounds, ‘Chiquitita‘ is still the best-selling single in Latin American history.
In October 1978 Benny and Frida got married, although soon after, their partners Björn and Agnetha announced their divorce. Björn would later marry music journalist Lena Kallersjö, with whom he would have two daughters, Emma and Anna.
The divorce caused massive press interest, raising many rumours about ABBA’s split. Although they denied it, the truth is that ABBA portrayed an ideal image of two happy married couples singing together, which no longer held up.
The quartet wanted people to talk about their music and not their private lives, so they stepped on the gas and released a new album, ‘Voulez-Vous‘, in 1979. As was the case with all music of the late 70s, the album had a lot of disco vibes.
ABBA Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
The first single was ‘Does Your Mother Know?‘, followed by ‘Voulez-Vous‘, and a little later, as part of a second compilation released in 1979, ‘Greatest Hits Vol. 2‘, ABBA’s biggest hit album, ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)‘.
Interestingly, in the Soviet Union, it was forbidden to export roubles, so only payments in kind were allowed, so ABBA collected their record sales in oil ⛽
After releasing ‘Chiquitita’, ABBA decided to record another song in Spanish, the song chosen was ‘I Have A Dream’, titled ‘Estoy soñando‘ in Spanish, which was released to commemorate the end of the album tour.
The Voulez-Vous tour, although a success, had to see its last concert in the United States cancelled due to a nervous breakdown suffered by Agnetha because the plane was hit by a tornado during the flight, terrifying the singer.
- Agnetha declared that she wanted to stop touring and spend more time with her family and her children.
As would happen in general throughout their career, ABBA’s concerts were on the one hand praised for their showmanship and on the other hand criticised because it was said that the band did not perform as well live as they did in the studio. It certainly wasn’t because of their level of professionalism and commitment to their live performances, which was very high. In fact, before every concert, the members of ABBA would give each other a hug representing their unity, their sense of teamwork and their friendship.
ABBA Gracias por la música
In 1980, Agnetha and Frida would sing ABBA’s best-known songs in Spanish, releasing the compilation album ‘Gracias por la música‘, presented with a song of the same name.
- If ABBA was already popular in Latin America, after this album it would be even more so. Due to the success of their next albums, ABBA would record four more songs in Spanish.
That same year ABBA travelled to Japan ⛩️ for what, unbeknownst to them, would be their last tour.
ABBA’s seventh studio album, ‘Super Trouper‘ was introduced with ‘The Winner Takes It All‘.
- Written by Björn, the track recounts the problems of his marriage to Agnetha, ‘The Winner Takes It All’ is considered one of ABBA’s best songs.
Super Trouper, featured a more prominent use of synthesizer and much more personal lyrics. The single of the same name would become ABBA’s ninth and final UK No. 1.
Super Trouper would be a new hit thanks to tracks such as: On and On and On, Our Last Summer, Happy New Year, and above all the beautiful ‘Lay all your love on me‘.
In 1981, ABBA’s manager Stig Anderson turned 50, and to celebrate, ABBA composed the song ‘Hovas Vittne‘ for him. Only 200 copies were pressed on red vinyl, which are a collector’s item today ⭕
ABBA The Winner Takes It All
ABBA Lay All Your Love On Me
In 1981 Benny divorced Frida and in the same year married Mona Nörklit, with whom he had a son, Ludvig, in 1982.
- With the two broken marriages, ABBA’s image cracked.
- Their innocent, clean and controversy-free image that had helped them so much on their way to stardom disappeared.
As they had done with the first divorce, they set about creating a new album and diverting attention to what was important, their music.
They would release two advance singles: Slipping Through My Fingers and Two For The Price Of One.
ABBA Slipping Through My Fingers
The eighth album, ‘The Visitor’ showed a maturity in the songwriting, dealing with political themes, although the album remained in the group’s typical pop style with catchy songs and wonderful harmonies.
The Visitor did not sell as well as its predecessors, being in Benny’s words the most difficult album to write, because of the pressure to always release hits that ABBA endured.
- Tracks such as ‘One of Us‘ and ‘When All Is Said And Done‘, which spoke of Benny and Frida’s recent divorce, were well received in the charts.
ABBA would set a new record when ‘The Visitors‘ became the first album to be released in compact disc format, i.e. a CD.
After that the four ABBA members turned their attention away from the group.
Frida I Know There Is Something Going On
In 1982, Frida recorded and released her first solo album in English. Produced by Phil Collins, ‘Something’s Going On’ with the hit ‘I Know There’s Something Going On’.
That same year Björn and Benny would make statements against martial law that were not well received by the Soviet government who censored ABBA’s entire oeuvre, confiscating their records from shops.
At the end of 1982, Agnetha, Frida, Benny and Björn got together in the studio with the intention of composing a new album, but the sessions did not go well and they changed the plans by releasing a double compilation album called ‘The Singles: The First Ten Years‘, which included 2 unreleased tracks: The Day Before You Came and Under Attack.
On 19 November 1982, ABBA appeared for the last time on a Swedish television programme and a few days later, on 11 December 1982, they would appear on ‘The Late, Late Breakfast Show‘ in the UK.
- Although they did not officially confirm it by announcing a temporary break, but ABBA would never reunite, at least not for a long time.
The reason for ABBA’s split was influenced by a combination of factors. Firstly, their personal relationships, which were strained after the divorces, also began to diverge creatively, each seeking their own new musical challenges. Beyond that there was a feeling of exhaustion, after 10 years of non-stop recording and touring. On top of that, the changes in the music scene with the emergence of punk and new wave made them lose relevance.
As a result, the members of ABBA stopped composing and playing together.
In 1983 Agnetha would record her first solo album ‘Wrap Your Arms Around Me‘, followed in 1985 by ‘Eyes of a Woman‘ and ‘I Stand Alone‘ in 1987.
- Agnetha would also record two albums in Swedish with her two sons, later retiring from public life.
Three of ABBA’s members, Benny, Björn and Frida, in 1983, collaborated on a children’s musical in France called ‘Abbacadabra’ which used ABBA songs.
In 1984, Björn, Benny Andersson and Tim Rice wrote a musical called ‘Chess’. The press gave the show negative reviews and its tenure was short-lived.
- That same year, Frida released a new album called ‘Shine‘. After that Frida retired for twelve years from the musical world focusing on her family.
- Her last album, ‘Djupa andetag‘, was performed in Swedish and released in 1996.
- Throughout the following years, Frida devoted herself mainly to charity work, occasionally appearing in collaboration with other artists.
In 1985, Benny Andersson produced two albums with his brother and sister Anders and Karin Glenmark, under the name Gemini, with songs composed by him and Björn.
In 1986 the four members of ABBA appeared in a Swedish programme commemorating the 55th birthday of their manager Stig Anderson, singing the first song from it, ‘Tivedshambo‘.
- That same year ‘ABBA Live‘ was released, with concert recordings.
In 1987, Benny released his first solo album ‘Klinga Mina Klockor (Chime, My Bells)‘. The second would come 2 years later
In 1990 Agnetha remarried, to Tomas Sonnenfeld, whom she divorced three years later.
In 1992, Frida married Prince Heinrich Ruzo Reuss von Plauen, who died seven years later of cancer.
The same year 1992 the first version of ABBA’s most famous compilation called ‘ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits’ was released. This album brought the quartet back to the top of the charts and is currently their best-selling album and one of the most successful in the world with sales exceeding 28 million copies. ABBA Gold was re-released several times, including in 1999, 2004 and 2008.
- Due to the enormous success of ABBA Gold, a second compilation was published in 1993, entitled ‘More ABBA Gold: More ABBA Hits‘, which included the unreleased track ‘I Am The City’.
- It didn’t stop there, because the record label would bring together all of ABBA’s Spanish-language tracks on ‘ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits‘, with less success this time.
In 1994 they released ‘Thank you for the Music‘, a compilation box set containing several of the group’s hits and a disc of unreleased tracks from the recording sessions from 1970 to 1982, including: Dream World, Put On Your White Sombrero and the medley ‘ABBA Undeleted‘.
In 1995, Björn and Benny tried again with a musical, this time in Swedish, ‘Kristina Från Duvemåla‘. It was a great success in their home country.
In 1999 Björn decided to create a musical based on ABBA songs with a funny story behind it. The musical was called ‘Mamma Mia!‘.
- It opened in London on 6 April 1999 and has been a hit in theatres all over the world to this day.
The four members of ABBA attended several premieres and performances of the musical, but were never seen or photographed together, except that same 1999 at a friend’s birthday party for which they sang a Swedish birthday song, ‘Med En Enkel Tulipan‘ a cappella.
In 2000 ABBA turned down an offer of $1 billion 🤑 for a reunion tour consisting of one hundred concerts.
Mamma Mia. The film
Since 2001 Benny Andersson, who was an alcoholic for a long time 🥃 started rehab. He never denied his addiction to alcohol although he also consumed other substances.
- Benny is still active with his 16-piece band Benny Anderssons Orkester (BAO!), with whom he has released 5 albums with huge success in Sweden, again composing with Björn.
- Their most popular song is ‘Du är min man (You Are My Man)’.
The last song composed by Benny and Björn was ‘Story of a Heart‘, released in 2009 by BAO! A real gem of a song.
In 2004 Agnetha would return to the music scene with a new work called ‘My Colouring Book‘. Since then Agnetha started to participate more in activities related to ABBA and her former bandmates.
Benny Andersson Orkester (BAO!) Story Of My Heart
In 2005, at the gala to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Eurovision, ‘Waterloo’ was named the best song in the history of the contest by popular vote across Europe. Here are the best songs in the history of Eurovision.
- After many years without reuniting, in 2008, the 4 members of ABBA could be seen again at the premiere of the film ‘Mamma Mia!’.
In 2010 Universal Music created ABBA World, a traveling exhibition consisting of 25 rooms in which multiple collection items of the quartet are exhibited, including objects used by them and some of their old costumes, as well as several rooms with multimedia material and interactive exhibits.
In 2016 they opened the Mamma Mia! restaurant in Stockholm, which features a Mediterranean buffet.
- ABBA played an important role in boosting Sweden’s cultural image on the world stage. Their success had a profound impact on Sweden’s music industry and tourism, leading to increased international interest in Swedish music and culture.
- ABBA’s popularity led to a wide range of products, from clothing to dolls and board games.
- In Sweden, they even had their own line of ABBA-branded frozen shrimp.
In 2017, a sequel to the movie ‘Mamma Mia!’ was released under the title ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again‘ starring Cher.
ABBA avatars from ‘ABBA Voyage’ digital concert
In 2021, to everyone’s surprise 😲 ABBA returned to the studio to compose their 9th album, ‘Voyage’, their first album in 40 years.
- It came with two songs: ‘I Still Have Faith in You‘ and ‘Don’t Shut Me Down‘.
- The album received both good and bad reviews, but still went to number one in the British charts.
ABBA would also create a digital concert called ‘ABBA Voyage’ which features digital avatars of the original band members, so the band will exist forever.